Andina: 5 Things to Know Before You Go

By Miranda York  |  December 16, 2013

Peruvian cuisine has been a big food trend this year - Lima has been picking up accolades left and right - but it’s Martin Morales who’s become the face of this South American craze. After the success of his first restaurant, Ceviche in Soho, he’s jumped east and opened a new outpost in Shoreditch. Inspired by picanterías - local, traditional restaurants serving up healthy Peruvian fare in the Andes - Andina now sits next to a cluster of exceptional eateries around Redchurch Street. Here are five things you should know before you go.

  • The Food

    Nutritious and healthy are not words usually associated with dining out, but Martin Morales is hoping to buck the trend at Andina. The menu focuses on indigenous Peruvian ingredients, in particular super-foods born out of the Peruvian Andes and pre-Inca cultures. More than 50% of the menu is vegetarian, and many dishes are gluten-free and suitable for celiacs. Breakfast and brunch are particularly interesting: from 8 AM, you can try Peruvian porridge (made from quinoa and amaranth) or a Pig Butty - a traditional chicharrón sandwich eaten throughout the Andes. Standout dishes for lunch and dinner include the quinoa burger, made from super-foods maca and amaranth alongside red and white quinoa; Solterito, a super-food salad influenced by the Andean city of Arequipa; and Tamalitos made with coriander, fresco cheese and quinoa.

  • The Drinks

    A selection of fresh juices, Andean hot drinks and house-blend coffees are available to drink in or take out from 8 AM. Ekeko, meaning "god of good fortune," mixes carrot, melon pear, lime, maca and ginger, while fuerza is a traditional Peruvian liquid meal featuring cooked ingredients that are blended into a thick, hot, healthy drink ideal for breakfast. The cocktail menu is headed up by the Peruvian national cocktail - the pisco sour - alongside new pisco infusions created by head barman and Young British Foodie finalist Miguel Arbe. Try the Quinoa Shock - cinnamon-infused pisco, quince liqueur, quinoa milk, apple juice and a quinoa biscuit.

  • The Decor

    The layout is inspired by a traditional Andean house with three rooms: a kitchen, music room and dining room. A collaboration between Morales, Schneider Designers and Here Design, the two-floor space makes room for a lot of extras: in addition to the dining area, there are dedicated bars for juice, ceviche and chicha, as well as a private dining room. Rustic, handmade textiles hang alongside art from Peruvian artists such as Maricruz Arribas, Nella Nitram and Samuel Gutierrez. One of Peru's leading craftsmen and artists, Mabilón Jiménez Quispe, has even made traditional "retablos" - colourful Andean folk art in the form of portable boxes - which have been photographed and recreated in the toilet cubicles by Marina Garcia Burgos.

  • The Music

    A former DJ and music producer, it’s fair to say Morales loves music as much as he loves food. Around the time he opened Ceviche, he also launched Tiger’s Milk Records, which is dedicated to discovering new and old artists from Peru. Along the way he’s collected more than 2,000 rare Peruvian records, each with its own vibrant cover artwork, which are showcased in the private dining room at Andina (suitably called ‘The Music Room’). Different music is played in each room of the restaurant, and there’s even Peruvian poetry in the toilets by Cesar Vallejo, José María Arguedas and Ciro Alegría.

  • The Events

    As well as all-day dining (8 AM-11 PM weekdays, 10 AM-11 PM weekends), look out for fun events and music sessions. There’ll be Superfood Drinks mornings, Tiger's Milk Sunday Sessions (freestyle DIY tiger's-milk-making with an intro to Peruvian music) and Quinoa Cooking Masterclasses coming soon.